Biden Temporary Halt of US Embassy Operations in Conflict-Ridden Sudan

Violence in Sudan, President Joe Biden announces a temporary suspension of US Embassy operations while maintaining support for the Sudanese people

US President Joe Biden speaks at the Royal Warsaw Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023. — AFP

Amid escalating conflict in Sudan, US President Joe Biden has declared a temporary suspension of operations at the US Embassy in the country, while reiterating Washington’s ongoing support for the Sudanese people.

The power struggle in Sudan persisted into the second day of Eid, as the temporary ceasefire between the forces of Army Chief Abdel Fattah-Al-Burhan and his adversary, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) chief Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, collapsed shortly after being announced. The ongoing strife has resulted in 413 deaths, with thousands injured and countless others trapped in their homes without access to basic necessities.

Expressing his concern, President Biden called for an end to the violence, which he described as “unconscionable.” In a tweet, he stated, “This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. We’re temporarily suspending operations at the US Embassy in Sudan, but our commitment to the Sudanese people and the future they want is unending.”

Per Biden’s orders, US government personnel were evacuated from Khartoum, the epicenter of the Sudanese conflict. The president also mentioned that he is closely monitoring efforts to assist Americans still in the war-torn country, with the support of US allies and partners.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that “all US personnel and their dependents” had been safely evacuated, and that the US would continue to help Americans in Sudan plan for their safety.

The intense urban warfare has trapped many within the Sudanese capital, leading to the closure of the airport and some roads becoming impassable. The UN and international governments have called for rival military leaders to respect declared ceasefires—mostly ignored so far—and to establish safe routes for fleeing civilians and the delivery of urgently needed aid.

The sudden outbreak of conflict in Sudan has not only jeopardized plans to restore civilian rule but also pushed the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis, with the potential to involve external powers. The closure of the airport and unsafe skies have left thousands of foreign nationals—including embassy staff, aid workers, and students—stranded in Sudan.

Saudi Arabia has evacuated Gulf citizens from Port Sudan on the Red Sea, 650 km (400 miles) from Khartoum, while Jordan plans to use the same route to evacuate its nationals.

Written by Aly Bukshi

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